The Peony blossom was likely a favorite of Louis Comfort Tiffany, who often incorporated the showy blooms into his designs including an early series of pictorial windows attributed directly to the artist which depict vases overflowing with peonies. The flower also appears in a number of landscape windows for domestic interiors likely designed by Agnes Northrop.
Under Tiffany’s direction, Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls designed a series of leaded glass shades for Tiffany Lamps depicting peonies ranging in shape and size from 18 to 28 inches in diameter. The original hand-drawn and colored cartoon for the 22-inch diameter variation seen here is in the permanent collection of the New-York Historical Society (accession no. 2007.4.8).
This example depicts peonies in various stages of development from bud to blossom in shades ranging from vibrant magenta with swirls of blue to a velvety burgundy. The deep warm tones of the flowers stand out against the background glass, which is formed by a cool blue-purple glass with subtle hints of pink, gold and green, with heavy mottling throughout.
This exceptional Peony Shade is paired with a bronze Decorated Cushion Table Base with telescopic stem, allowing for the height of the shade to be adjusted. The rounded “cushion” of the base is decorated with chased pod motif, and rests on four feet.
Both the shade and base of this original Tiffany Lamp are signed.
Diameter: 22 inches (55.88 cm)
Height: 31 ¾ inches (80.6 cm)